You know those public service television commercials where some celebrity-of-the-moment encourages you to talk to your kids about sex or drugs or something? Well, not surprising, such talks are of little use.
A study conducted in August 2006 examined longitudinal data from a survey of 5,401 Scottish teenagers. The researchers led by Daniel Wight of the Medical Research Council, Social and Public Health Sciences Unit in Glasgow UK found that talking to teens about sex had little relationship to sexual behavior. So what did?
Little monitoring or effort to keep tabs on their kid predicted early sexual activity for both sexes, and for females it also predicted more sexual partners and less condom use. Yes, we want to be our children’s friends, but this study showed, quite clearly, that if you give up the role of parent and monitoring your teen’s behaviors and comings-and-goings, they may very well be having sex long before you know (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
The study also found that teens who have more spending money also was a good predictor for early sexual activity, and, for males, having more sexual partners. Not suprising, since people are often drawn to others who have influence (money = influence).
Source: Journal of Adolescence, Vol 29(4), Aug 2006. pp. 473-494.
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 27 Apr 2007
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Grohol, J. (2007). Can Parents Influence their Kid’s Sexual Behavior?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 1, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2007/04/27/can-parents-influence-their-kids-sexual-behavior/